US basketball

Yeng open to stay as Gilas coach, but ready to resign if World Cup bid fails

Delfin Dioquino

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Yeng open to stay as Gilas coach, but ready to resign if World Cup bid fails
Guiao is poised to take over as permanent coach of national team after Chot Reyes chooses to 'step aside' from the Gilas program

MANILA, Philippines – Yeng Guiao welcomes the chance to completely take over the head coaching reins for Gilas Pilipinas, but if it fails in its quest for a 2019 FIBA World Cup berth, he will not hesitate to resign. 

Actually ang sabi ko lang naman, kung ibibigay nila sa akin dahil maganda na ang samahan namin, formally, tatanggapin ko naman,” he told reporters after Gilas beat Qatar in the Asian Qualifiers on Sunday, September 17. 

(What I told them is if they will offer me the position because of the bond we formed, I will accept it formally.)

Pero ang sinasabi ko rin, ‘pag hindi tayo nakarating ng World Cup at hindi ko nadala sa World Cup, bahala na kayo sa buhay ‘nyo. I will walk away, hindi ko pala kaya.” 

(But I’m also telling them that if we don’t reach the World Cup and I fail in helping the team reach the World Cup, it’s over. I will walk away. It just means I’m not the man for the job.) 

The fiery mentor was assigned by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) as a stand-in coach for Gilas in the fourth window of Qualifiers with original tactician Chot Reyes serving a one-game suspension from FIBA

Guiao was supposed to coach Team Pilipinas in only two games – against Iran and Qatar – and return to the PBA to focus on NLEX. 

But with Reyes choosing to “step aside” from the Gilas program, all the signs point  to Guiao earning himself a permanent head coaching post in the national team. 

Still, it doesn’t mean he will hold on to the position for years to come. 

“It’s really milestones. It’s really just delivering the objective or kung ano ‘yung purpose nito. Bakit ba tayo andito? Gusto nating makarating sa World Cup eh,” he said.

(For whatever purpose we are here. Why are we here? We want to reach the World Cup.)

So ‘pag hindi tayo nakarating sa World Cup, ikaw ang coach, mag-resign ka. So sabi ko, ganoon ang ano ko. Kung makarating tayo sa World Cup, eh di mag-usap ulit tayo.”

(So if we don’t make it to the World Cup and you’re the coach, you should resign. That is my opinion. If we make the World Cup and then that’s the time we’ll talk about the future.) 

There’s another caveat to keep the 59-year-old in the long haul for Gilas.

With the PBA fully opening its doors to the national team during the 2018 Asian Games by lending all of the requested players, Guiao only hopes the support continues. 

“To me, it’s not going to be a good proposition if you just accept [the position] and the PBA does not support it.” 

Gilas, which resides at third place in Group F behind a 5-3 card, looks to solidify its bid for a World Cup seat as it hosts Kazakhstan and Iran on November 30 and December 3, respectively. –


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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.